Disinfo: Attack on Navalny was a false flag operation, just as the Skripal affair

Summary

The attack on Russian opposition member Alexei Navalny was a false flag operation whose lies were quickly exposed, forcing its authors to invent new arguments to cover them. As with the supposed attempt on the life of the MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal, this incident is a false flag operation to foment western hostility and sanctions against Moscow.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory not based in any evidence, aiming to deny any involvement of Russian authorities in the incident, as the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against Russian dissident Alexei Navalny suggests. The presence of Novichok in Navalny’s body was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory.

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Navalny, which follows the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugther in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that is the US and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the US wanted to use it to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations about Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that “To the West, Navalny is more valuable dead than alive as a propaganda tool” and that “The Germans invented the bottle with Novichok to hide that they contaminated Navalny’s body fluids in Berlin”

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, false flag, Alexei Navalny

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The NATO group in the Baltic States will certainly not diminish. This kind of cooperation with the USA is too convenient for the rulers in the Baltic states. It demonstrates to voters that efforts are being made to counter the ‘threat from Russia’, thereby concealing all other issues such as the miserable economic development, the under-utilised Baltic ports, the resentment of the Russian-speaking minorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as having a belligerent agenda against Russia and claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has introduced sweeping changes to its membership and working practices – changes made clear by its adoption of new Strategic Concepts in 1999 and 2010. Accusations that NATO has retained its Cold War purpose ignore the reality of those changes.

Western attacks on the Russian coronavirus vaccine are a corporate cold war against humanity

Sputnik V, the Russian vaccine against Covid-19, has been the target of ceaseless attacks by corporate western media. Instead of uniting behind a shot that may save lives, some are willing to put the whole humanity at risk. For the business world in the West and the governments that represent them, the vaccine issue is a race, a new confrontation similar to a “cold war”, not about whose technologies would be more advance for the sake of everyone’s health, but for the sake of their profit. Now they are doing everything at hand to seed speculative and baseless doubts on Sputnik V, without considering the harm that this may cause.

Disproof

Reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are caused by the fact that Russia didn’t complete large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before releasing it. Rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it. In fact, there is evidence that Russia has at all times perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine mainly in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

The article is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, launched after its announcement was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country. See other examples in our database, such as claims that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that the WHO confirmed that the Sputnik V was on Phase 3 of clinical testing; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; that Europe is turning to Russia due to its desperate need for a vaccine; or that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.

The US and Europe face multiple deaths out of fear to admit Russia’s success against coronavirus

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Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about an alleged anti-Russian bias in the West and prejudices against Russia’s greatness. Contrary to the claim, reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are not caused by a Western refusal to accept Russia’s alleged primacy and success but because Russia didn’t complete large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before releasing it, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.

The article is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, launched after its announcement was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country. See other examples in our database, such as claims that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that the WHO confirmed that the Sputnik V was on Phase 3 of clinical testing; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; that Europe is turning to Russia due to its desperate need for a vaccine; or that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.